How to Weed Out the Wrong Clients and Attract the Right Ones

opinions expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

At first, the thought of actively preventing some customers from doing business with you may seem downright terrifying. However, let me put it into perspective by asking you a question.

If you’re networking in a room full of professionals for an hour, you’d rather be surrounded by 200 people, half of whom would make you roll your eyes and find excuses to leave, or 100 like-minded people who would fill you up Energy?

Your business is a big part of your life, so it makes a lot more sense to spend those work hours with clients who are fun to work with than with those who don’t fit your mood or focus. If you fend them off in the first place, you won’t have to waste extra time disqualifying them later (after endless emails or investigative calls).

Also, trying to appeal to everyone makes you bland and forgettable. If you want to be remembered by the right group, you have to be unforgettable in “their” eyes.

Here’s how you can achieve all of this at once through your personal brand.

See Also: The 7-Step Guide to Finding the Right Clients and Avoiding the Ones Wasting Your Time

Understand what you want to be known for (and talk about it)

When you create a strong personal brand, your name and face will spring to mind for your audience as soon as they think of your type of services or even specific topics.

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To do this, you must first identify what you want to be associated with, from key values ​​to concepts:

  • Choose your brand words and use them to guide your marketing. How do you want people to feel when they think of you? Brainstorm. Then ask your friends and past clients who you’ve enjoyed working with: what words come to mind when they think of your brand? If they match, great. If not, you know what you still need to work on. For example, one of my brand words is “playful,” so I made some GIFs of me being silly in my photo studio. They’ll probably put off the more uptight and serious prospects, but they’ll attract the kind of fun women I enjoy working with
  • Decide what you want to be known for. This can include the angle or twist you added to your services, some values, or different themes. Then talk about it, especially on social media. For example, I like to be reminded of the importance of showing who you really are, being bold and visible in your business, and standing out with colorful branded photos – which is exactly why I never shut up about these things.

See also: This is why articulating your brand values ​​is so important

Dare to show yourself as your authentic self

For 88% of consumers, authenticity is key when choosing which brands to endorse. However, social media and the corporate world are saturated with people regurgitating the same old posts and statements.

You have one massive advantage over all of your competitors: none of them are “you”. Accept this instead of trying to fit in.

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When you share your quirks, passions, and sense of humor, you finally create meaningful connections with your dream clients. The same goes for voicing your own opinions, even—or especially—if they’re divisive, as long as you do so with respect.

How many times have you failed to post something because you thought, “Some people aren’t going to like this?” Sure, some prospects won’t agree with you, but guess what? they are not your people Those who do will appreciate it and remember you.

See also: 6 Positive Changes That Happen When You Start Showing Authenticity in Your Business

Use color theory and graphic design strategically

If someone describes their brand as “peaceful and calm” but uses bright red backgrounds and an overloaded all-caps font, would you still associate them with those words? I doubt it.

That’s why it’s important to reinforce your brand words and values ​​through your graphic elements.

I consider myself quite creative and quirky. However, when I used to shoot weddings, I opted for classic bridal colors and graphics. No wonder I kept dressing the most traditional brides and ended up finding my old job incredibly boring.

So unless you’re one yourself, I recommend investing in a professional graphic designer to:

  • Harness Color Theory (aka Different Hues Have Different Meanings)
  • Actually represent your brand visually through the right aesthetic

Related: What colors should you use for your personal brand? (and why it matters)

Show your personality in your brand photos

Some authentic personal branded photos will help you connect with the right prospects and in turn, keep the wrong ones from reaching out:

  • Wear outfits that are unique to you. While you might want to step it up a notch to really make an impression, your audience shouldn’t be confused when they meet you in real life
  • Add your brand colors.
  • Choose locations that align with your values. Some informal and friendly photos in a coffee shop convey a very different atmosphere than some taken in a stylish office that exudes authority.
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For example, I now show myself with a bold palette, bright images, and the clothes my clients wear when I take their photos. This deters professionals looking for simple, corporate style headshots, but it allows me to work with vivacious women interested in shoots full of personality.

Related: 3 Ways to Use Images to Boost Your Business

Pop up where your audience lurks

Another way to attract your dream audience is to show up where they are. From podcasts to blogs to magazines, send personalized pitches and request to be featured. Then take this opportunity to talk about what you want to be known for.

They don’t necessarily have to be business publications, as long as they allow you to reinforce your values. Not sure where to start? You can always ask some of your favorite customers.

Doing all of this on a regular basis builds a strong personal brand — the kind of brand your dream audience will find impossible to ignore.

So instead of being vanilla, dare to be your own unique flavor. Yes, some people will not like it. But the right ones? They will absolutely adore you for it.

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